Culture / Sporting Life

Jerry Jones Signs Autographs, Plays Helicopter Games as Cal McNair Gets Compared to Tommy Boy — a Tale of Two Texas Football Worlds

Hard Knocks is Making the Cowboys Look Good, While the Texans Stay Locked in a Media Nightmare of Their Own Making

BY // 08.25.21

Jerry Jones is feeling the love. From the fans in the stands at The Star who screech and chant “Jerry! Jerry!” at him and besiege him for autographs like he’s a star player. From HBO and NFL Films which turn the third episode of Hard Knocks into one big infomercial for the Dallas Cowboys’ 91-acre Frisco complex with a fly thru drone shot that feels both exhilarating and way too long.

It’s good to be Jerry Jones these days, a 78-year-old icon who just may be the last of the truly charismatic sports owners. Then again, when has it ever not been a good day to be Jerry Jones.

It’s not so fun to be Cal McNair these days. The Houston Texans CEO and owner to be is getting compared to Tommy Boy, the doofus son of a rich auto baron played by Chris Farley in the movie of the same name. Again. This time, it’s an anonymous agent detailing that many in the league call McNair “Tommy Boy” in an Athletic story that rates the Texans as having the single worst offseason in the NFL — for the second straight year.

And no, no one but the most delusional Texans fans are being fooled by this undefeated preseason. In fact, if  you’ve been convinced that the Texans are for by real by their preseason, you’re also likely fighting to get out of a timeshare.

The Cowboys may not have won a Super Bowl in 26 years, seven years longer than the Houston Texans have even existed as a franchise, but the gulf between Texas’ two NFL franchises has never seemed wider. And not just because the Cowboys are smart enough to embrace the Hard Knocks experience and showcase all their personalities.

“I’ve had more shots than a cocker spaniel.” — Jerry Jones

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Whether that’s quarterback Dak Prescott endearingly talking about being chubby as a kid. Or hilariously ranting about his distrust of anyone in a costume and all things haunted.

“That’s why I never did anything haunted,” Prescott elaborates. “I used to tell my mom that’s the perfect place to kill somebody. Y’all think it’s a fake chainsaw. You don’t know, one of them crazy f***** put a blade on that b**** one day!”

Jerry Jones’ Fly Thru World

Dak should have his own one-man show. Meanwhile, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs’ adorable 4-year-old son Aaiden is acting like he already has one. Aaiden all but steals the episode with his very loud attempts to get his dad’s attention from the stands in a preseason game.

Contrast all that Cowboys-controlled wholesomeness (and yes, the franchise has final say about what is and is not allowed to be shown on Hard Knocks) with what the Texans have been putting out there this summer. With the specter of Jack Easterby looming over everything as the NFL’s version of a real life boogeyman, Houston’s NFL team has become the butt of just about every national media joke you can imagine.

Cal McNair
Cal and Hannah McNair with the Houston Texans cheerleaders

The Deshaun Watson situation continues to be a mess that’s impossible to defend — and even good stories like Lonnie Johnson Jr. have no chance of breaking through nationally. Janice McNair, the real force in this franchise, and Cal McNair have largely been silent this summer. Though Janice McNair’s committed charity work and regular giving should not go unnoticed.

Contrast that low profile with Jerry Jones cracking on Hard Knocks, “I’ve had more shots than a cocker spaniel.” Yes, life is fine for Jerry. It even looks like he has a Super Bowl contender this year if Prescott can stay healthy. And not just Hard Knocks illusion looks. This seems real.

If  you’ve been convinced that the Texans are for by real by their preseason, you’re also likely fighting to get out of a timeshare.

And it’s fun to watch Jerry Jones enjoying life at this point. Even if the worst thing that happens to him is the “inconvenience” of having to turn his luxury helicopter around to circle back and pick up his son Stephen Jones for a game at Cowboys Stadium.

Sorry Cal. It’s just better to be Jerry. It usually is.

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